By Roxana Tiron - 12/08/09 07:41 PM EST
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top military commander in
Afghanistan, said that the United States can't defeat al Qaeda until Osama bin
Laden is captured.
Bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, has eluded U.S.
and coalition forces since 2001.
Both McChrystal and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry agreed bin Laden's capture is important.
McChrystal said that bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, now in hiding, is an "iconic figure" whose survival "emboldens" the extremist group's franchise.
McChrystal and Eikenberry made their comments before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.